The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, 19th July, 2018, commenced his tour of the Northern part of Ghana starting from the Upper East region. He began with a visit to the construction site of the 1-village-1-dam project in Kuyellingo in Bongo, cutting the sod for the construction of the Bongo-Balungu-Namoo-Zorko road and a meeting with the chiefs and people of Bongo in a Durbar organized in his honour.
There has been several claims by the minority in parliament stating that, the FREE SHS initiated by the NPP government is on merge of collapse,adding that there is no money going into the initiative.
Addressing the durbar of chiefs at Bongo, President Akufo-Addo noted that the performance of his administration, over the last 18 months, is an indication that the promises he made to the Ghanaian people, in the run-up to the 2016 elections, were not meant to hoodwink them.
“Free Senior High School in Ghana is, today, a reality for the people of Ghana. Last year, it meant that 90,000 more students entered secondary school than the year before. This year, the number is doubling.
180,000 more students are coming into the secondary school system than in 2017. So, we are fulfilling our promise, and making it clear that Senior High School education is free and is here to stay in Ghana forever and ever,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo also assured that his administration is going to find innovative ways of making sure that “this big population of students is catered for”, which will include the recruitment of some 8,000 more teachers, “so that they can look after our children and give them a decent education.”
The President indicated further that his government has restored the nursing and teacher training allowances, and also has begun the 1-village-1-dam initiative, “and you here in Bongo can see for yourselves that we have begun the initiative. It is our intention that Bongo alone will get 10 dams this year.”
With the road expected to be completed within one year, the President stressed that “this is not some election-year gimmick, where machines are brought to the spot to come and deceive people. That is not what I am doing. We are building the road.”
He added that with a total of five hundred and seventy (570) dams to be constructed in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions, ten (10) of these dams will be sited in the Bongo constituency, which will ensure all-year-round agriculture in the district.
On his part, the Bongo Naba, Baba Salifu Alemyarum, noted that, in the history of constitutional rule, this is the first time a sitting President has visited Bongo.
“In the past, Presidents come here only during campaign seasons. I must commend you for visiting us during your first two years in office. The Chiefs and people of Bongo salute you for demonstrating the spirit of “father for all”, by ensuring that the Bongo-Bolga road, that was left uncompleted, has now been completed,” he said.
The Bongo Naba continued, “Our greatest appreciation to you is for the swift attention to the Bongo-Balungu-Namoo road, that has left the people cut off from travelling in or out. A total of 78.9km of feeder roads are currently under construction in different parts of the district.”
He lauded the President for the implementation of the 1-village-1-dam in Bongo, and for the Free SHS policy, which, he said, has ensured that many young persons in Bongo are now going to be guaranteed a minimum of senior high school education.
“Rome was not built in a day, as the saying goes. Therefore, I am hopeful that more development projects will take place, since you have the right Regional Minister and hardworking DCE for Bongo,” he added.